Public Salta is a blog whose goal is to reestablish an American Catholic social teaching worth the name –– to restore it’s spiritual, theological, and moral impact ––– an impact that has been recently been lost because of an intellectually dishonest group of clerics, theologians, and philosophers that have abused it of its prudence. In this context, we introduce the Catholic Social Teaching Revitalization Initiative (CST.RI).
Catholic social teaching (CST) is a tradition of social justice themes, methodologies, and appeals that over the past 40 years have been nefariously transformed, by virtue of the aforementioned, into right-wing arguments for “free market principles” and postconservative politics.
Here is where we write ongoing theological analyses at the intersection of postconservative politics and CST in short-form articles and long-form e-phlets (electronic pamphlets). Our aim is to create a platform to discern an American Catholic political theology that denounces free market principles and postconservative politics in the name of CST, and we do so by critically clarifying CST core principles, and finally, presenting an alternative for conscientious action through legislative change.
Progressive American Catholicism
In particular, we will design and coordinate an inclusionary dialogue for the theological imagination and spiritual freedom of “Generation None,” –– an intergenerational group of persons, a majority of whom are Millennial ex-Catholics, self-identifying as “religiously unaffiliated.” Nones may be religiously unaffiliated, however, a vast majority still claim that religion and/or spirituality plays a very important role in their lives. We also invites Catholics who are estranged from the church, and as a political act in good conscience, because they understand the American church has become too far embedded in the right-wing political machine to inspire moral discernment at this time.
Who Is Salta Collaborative?
Salta Collaborative is a thought collective of theologians and social justice advocates confronting the politics of bad faith that is misappropriating CST, and overwhelming our public policy debate with bad public policies in its name.
Greatly inspired by three 20th century intellectuals and their work –– John A. Ryan and his integration of Catholic social teaching into the political-economy of the state, William F. Lynch, S.J. and his existential analysis of faith, and Thomas Merton’s spirituality and social critique –– we take the theological position that “faith is politics.”
And today, much of America’s politics is in bad faith.
Our mission is twofold.
First, to present a theological deconstruction of the public policy debate that postconservatives frame in the context of bad faith and bad theology. Bad theology leads to bad public policies, and in order to challenge bad public policies it is critical that the origins of bad theology be identified and their logic deconstructed in the public square.
Secondly, we are inspired to create a 21st century political theology that argues for public policies in good faith –– that is, for policies that respect universal human dignity, personal creativity and freedom, and the common good of society as a whole. Salta Collaborative is not only committed to the critique of bad theology and bad public policies, but also to presenting the alternative.
The Salta Alternative
The alternative to bad public policies is what Salta Collaborative calls American Communion.
American Communion is the future vision of a radically inclusionary political-economy that places the irreducible worthiness and equality of each and every person at the center. This is the singular work of The American Communion Project, the institutional heart and home of Salta Collaborative.
An introductory glance of the terms that comprise The American Communion Project’s theological methodology, for example postconservatism, can be viewed at www.americancommunion.org.
The unity of purpose between the Public Salta blog and The American Communion Project is to close the gap between the expectation of our common humanity and the distorted reality of an American political-economy that does not yet recognize all persons as worthy and equal participants in it.